ACBL Diaries 1: Trust In Partner!

We play time by time with my students and partners ACBL speedball tournaments. These are quick, still playable tournaments with a lot's of players, most of the time more, than 200 pairs are taking part. I played a very special hand with Tom Szabo in an MP tournament. It didn't happen in the last 20 years, that I passed a forcing bid, now I did it, with an interesting continue. Let's see, what had happened?

I opened 1♣ in 2nd position, West doubled, and Tom responded 1♠, forcing one round, East passed:

What should I bid in South position in a pairs tournament?

If opps were passing, system allows 1NT and 2♠ is also tolerable decision.

Anyway, West doubled to my 1C, I have minimum hand, so even if we have game forcing hand, which one will be that?

So I decided to bid pass, and West reopened the hand with another double. I think he had an easy pass, and we shall see, why?

East said 1NT to this double, I passed, West passed, and Tom now doubled it in the 4th position.

This is a perfect penalty situation. My hand is weak, still I can lead club, and I seem to have 4-5 tricks against this contract.

Partner will have at least 10 points, cca 2-3 tricks, so we can destroy this contract mostly.

I passed it, so as West, and I led the two of clubs, because we play attitude without count against NT contracts.

East won the 1st club with the ten in his hand, and played the ten of hearts. Tom won it with the King, and continued a club. We can see, that he could only do it because of the small club lead, the Ace would have cut me from Tom.

Now I took the 2nd club trick with the Ace, and played the King, showing high rank interest to get a trick, and I played the 4th round of clubs, and East won it with the Queen. Declarer discarded a diamond and a spade to these club tricks from the dummy.

We came to this endplay situation:

East was in his hand for the last time. So he played the finesse in diamond, hoping to make 2 , 2, 2♣ and s ♠ trick, but Tom won the Queen of diamond with the King, and he played a spade to my Ace. Now East should have discarded the King of spades to this trick, but he asked small spade, so he was cut from hand.

We had 3♣, 2, 1 and 1♠ trick so they were already down. Now East decided to discard a heart, which was a great decision, because if he had discarded a diamond, I play diamond and he doesn't collect any heart tricks, becauseTom still gets the Ace of hearts and 2 diamond tricks.

This way of play forced me to switch to heart, collecting the Ace of heart, because declarer still could have had a long diamond suit with the Jack, making the contract.

Anyway, Tom had the Jack of diamonds, so we still collected it, all together 8 tricks, 1 ♠, 2, 2 and 3♣ tricks, 96 % score in an MP tournament.


If Tom bids redouble to Wests double, the same result could be reached, considering, that they don't have fit, Tom had great defending hand, and agains a suit contract, like 1 or 1, my hand was good enough to try to double them. They could try 1NT, like now, bringing the same result.